Statistical Briefing Book > Juveniles in Court Previous Page
Delinquency Cases
Q: Do trends in the use of detention vary by offense?
A: Since 2005, the proportion of cases involving detention increased for property offense cases but declined for drug offense cases.

It is important to note that 2020 was the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which may have impacted policies, procedures, and data collection activities regarding referrals to and processing of youth by juvenile courts. Additionally, stay-at-home orders and school closures likely impacted the volume and type of law-violating behavior by youth referred to juvenile court in 2020.
  • Juvenile courts sometimes hold youth in secure detention facilities during processing of their case. Depending on the State's detention laws, the court may decide detention is necessary to ensure the youth's appearance at subsequent court hearings, to protect the community from the youth, or to secure the youth's own safety. Detention may also be ordered for the purpose of evaluating the youth.
  • Between 2005 and 2020, the likelihood of detention increased for property (19.1% to 21.6%) offense cases but decreased for drug offense (from 22.7% to 14.7%) cases; the likelihood of detention for person and public order offense cases was about the same in 2020 as in 2005.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: Released on January 10, 2023.

Adapted from Easy Access to Juvenile Court Statistics. Available on-line at:

Data Source: National Juvenile Court Data Archive. National Center for Juvenile Justice. Pittsburgh, PA.